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Companies promise to bring 261 jobs to WNY through Start-Up NY program

Eleven companies promise to create 261 jobs  and invest nearly $8 million over the next five years in tax-free zones connected to the University at Buffalo and three other area colleges through the state's Start-Up NY program, the governor's office announced Friday.

They are the newest companies added to the incentive program that lowers or eliminates most state taxes for 10 years for businesses that agree to create jobs in properties connected to New York’s colleges and universities. Eight of the 11 companies are coming to zones located on or off the UB campus, continuing the university's leading performance in the program.

Statewide, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday, 39 companies accepted into the program's most recent class pledged to create 817 new jobs and invest $30 million over the next five years.

"This program continues to attract companies with visionary goals to every region of our state and is playing a key role in revitalizing those communities," Cuomo said in a statement.

Since the state accepted its first companies into the program in 2014, Start-Up NY says 202 companies now have promised to create at least 4,490 new jobs and invest more than $251 million over the next three to five years across the state.

Critics, however, say actual job creation has lagged far behind the job projections.

The most recent annual progress report on the program, released in July, showed the Start-Up NY companies had created to date just 408 of the 4,100 promised jobs. State officials argue any program of this type takes time to reach its stride but they contend Start-Up NY will meet expectations for economic development.

If there is a Start-Up NY success story, it is UB. No other school in the state has brought in as many companies, or reported as many jobs created, according to Empire State Development.

Between 2014 and today, Start-Up NY has accepted 72 UB-sponsored companies into the program, and those companies have promised to create 1,626 jobs and invest $50.3 million over five years. As of today, 40 of the companies have moved into a UB zone.

The eight newest UB companies announced Friday promise to create a total of 213 jobs and invest $5.1 million. They are:

  • Op-Smart, an early-stage information technology company that makes software for clients in the supply-chain network. The company says it will create 148 jobs, invest $830,000 and the location of its tax-free zone isn't known yet.
  • AccuTheranostics, an early-stage biotech company graduating from the UB Biosciences Incubator. The company has developed a method of using a patient’s own tumor cells in the lab to identify early on which drugs would be most effective for treating a patient’s unique cancer. The company says it will create 10 jobs and invest $3.65 million, and its location also isn't known.
  • CleanSlate, which produces a medical device used for sanitizing portable electronics in healthcare using UV light. The Toronto company set up shop in the 43North incubator on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus after it was one of the 2015 winners of that contest. The company says it will create 26 net new jobs and invest $185,000.
  • GCLIPROW, which produces a system allowing rowers to enjoy total stability within their own shoes while providing a safe release in case of an emergency. The company says it will create five jobs, invest $95,000 and move into the Olmsted Center for Sight.
  • Rebel One Studios, an early-stage animation production company focused on animation and demonstration videos. The company says it will create six jobs and invest $90,000. It will move into the UB Downtown Gateway Building.
  • Regulus Energy, an alternative energy engineering company that designs and commissions production plants that take municipal solid waste, wood and similar materials and convert it into finished fuels or electricity. The company says it will create eight jobs and invest $96,000 at its location at 250 Cooper Ave., Town of Tonawanda.
  • RMP Logic, an IT company that is developing and marketing a mobile app that can securely exchange protected health information, peer-to-peer. The company says it will create two jobs and invest $69,500 at UB Downtown Gateway.
  • Fandoozy.com, a new business developing a web and mobile application that will offer a platform where sports fans and professionals can debate sports. The company says it will create eight jobs and invest $100,000 at UB's Baird Research Park in Amherst.

Other colleges in the region have lagged in the Start-Up NY program, but three schools had companies accepted into their zones in Friday's announcement:

Jamestown Community College is bringing in its first company, New Flyer of America, described as the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty buses in the United States and Canada. New Flyer will establish operations in Jamestown, creating 31 jobs and investing $1.6 million.

Villa Maria College also is getting its first Start-Up NY company, DAR Enterprises, a new, multimedia company that uses augmented reality and virtual reality technology to generate online social spaces for story sharing. The company says it will create 12 jobs and invest $79,000.

Alfred State College is getting its second company, Belvac Production Machinery, which will make ceramic tooling to form metal beverage cans for use in other industrial applications. The company says it will create five jobs and invest $1 million.

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